It was first inhabited in the pre-historic era, but it was in the 4th and 3rd century BC that Ancient Rithymna really began to flourish. In 1204 the Venetians built the fortified port but it proved to be inadequate since in 1645 Leo of Venice was defeated by pasha housin and the city was taken over by the Turkish.
This meant the end of culture and civilization, which led the locals to live under the ruling of the Turkish until 1913 when they Crete united with Greece. The Monastery of Arkadio is worth paying a visit to. It was built in the 14th century and in 1866 women, children along with the brothers of the monastery and the revolutionaries, fiercely stood up to Moustafa's army of 15,000; when the Turkish army finally broke into the monastery the besieged blew up the gunpowder storage room and were buried under the rumble along with their enemies.
While in the city it is worth taking a stroll through the old part of the city, and see for your selves the quaint little laneways, the old Venetian port, the Mosque, the museums, the Three-Headed Fountain and the loggia at Venetians' monument. The springs at Spili with truly enchant you; the sight of 25 lion's heads with water spilling from their mouths is a marvelous sight, at Anogia you will see the cave of Sfentonis where the locals still speak the Cretan dialect, still carry fire arms, drink raki and give some to their guests and wear the traditional costume, it is also the start up point for anyone who was to climb Psiloriti.

At the Margaritas; it is said that the Queen Margarita was enchanted by the place and built a village there. The residents of the village are well known for their hospitality and pottery. At the Milous you can walk down to the watermills that were built in the Middle Ages, hear the chirping of the birds and enjoy the view of the canyon. At Eleftherna you see the ruins of the gigantic water tower. There is an amazing amount of places to visit and sights to see, so it is a good idea to buy a map while you are there. There are many sandy beaches where you can enjoy a swim to cool down and as for food; Rethymno has one of the best cuisines in Greece especially if you visit the small villages. In the city the nightlife is wild and matches any other cosmopolitan cities. In Rethymno you can buy broidery, in Margaritas pottery and in Anogia textiles. There are many accommodations establishments for all tastes and budgets, and if you don't have a car you can always rent a car, whilst it is worth walking in the city. The KTEL buses can take you to Heraklion, Chania or Sfakia. To reach Rethymno by airplane you can land at the airport of Chania and then be transferred by buses to Rethymno or by ferry from Pireaus, the trip is about 10 hours. Have fun.




Old Town Platanos